My family are dog lovers, all of us, they have been such a big part of our life since day one. Lisa and I grew up with dogs, she says her first love was an over protective boxer when she was a little girl. For me my pal was a huge German Sheppard who loved playing hockey with me on the creek, he would chance that puck for hours and he was tough to stick handle around.

“Basher” was our first dog when we married, a fun loving mutt we picked up in Hamilton who was stuck in a cage.  When we got him home he just bashed into everything, hence the name.  He loved the warm shop and the wood stove and was known to have the odd pint in his dog dish.

Since then we fostered four dogs for the Canadian Institute of the Blind (CNIB) preparing them for there master.  A tough job when you had to give them up around a year old, but very rewarding in the end. After raising these dogs we decided it was time for our own so a black lab named Stoney entered our lives.  He was the best dog growing up with our kids.  Now as empty nester’s we have Tuukka, a black lab, that is totally spoiled and travels with us on a regular basis.

We’re no different then many families and people who love dogs which include people working in the trucking industry. Many long haul truck drivers take their dogs with them or want too. Recently we had a young fella enrolled in our KRTS AZ course who was looking to go long haul and taking his dog was a must not an option. He stopped by the office recently to see me and to explain how surprised his was with the reluctance of Carriers allowing dogs in the truck. I was quite surprised I must say. Especially when he started to name some of the Carriers, in my opinion these carriers are some of the best of the best, forward thinkers and great at recruiting and retention, but not when it comes to dogs. Seriously? Hello? These are Carriers who tell me they can take as many good drivers as we can produce. The young man who by the way was in the top level of our students heard everything from no dogs to $500.00 damage deposit for the dog. One Carrier who was not his first choice told him if he wanted to take a dog it is ok, he needed to sigh an agreement that outlined his responsibility for the dog and any damages and agree to clean up to the truck regularly and when necessary. Pretty simple stuff right? No, not so simple. I called and secretly shopped a number of carriers and told by the many of the companies “No Pets”.

In a time where quality professionals are at a premium and companies are screaming for long haul drivers it’s time to wake up and have a look at your dog policy. If I was a long haul driver or wanted to be a long haul driver it would be one of the first questions I asked right behind what are you going to pay me and what is your turn over of drivers this past year.  A new year is just around the corner – how about a look at your pet policy.

I want to wish all of my industry colleagues, friends and customers a very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year. Thank you you all for your relationships both professional and personal. Next to my family you are the greatest gift I could ever have received. Best of luck in 2018.